Bicultural individuals vary in the degree to which their two cultural identities are integrated versus conflicting — Bicultural Identity Integration (BII). Past research on attribution biases finds that BII influences the way that biculturals shift in response to cultural primes: integrated biculturals shift assimilatively, whereas conflicted biculturals shift contrastively. Proposing that this reflects assimilation versus reactance responses, we tested whether it extends to shifts in self-perceived personality. In two experiments with Asian–American participants, we found that BII influences the direction of cultural priming effects (assimilation versus contrast) on the personality dimensions of need for uniqueness (Experiment 1) and extraversion (Experiment 2). As hypothesized, high BIIs shifted in a culturally assimilative direction, perceiving the self as more uniqueness-seeking and extraverted following American versus Asian priming, whereas low BIIs shifted in the reverse direction. Implications for research on bicultural identity, priming, personality, organizational and consumer behavior are discussed.

Aurelia Mok and Michael Morris
Journal Article
Publication Date
Journal of Experimental Social Psychology

Full Citation

Mok, Aurelia and Michael Morris
. “Cultural chameleons and iconoclasts: Assimilation and reactance to cultural cues in biculturals' expressed personalities as a function of identity conflict.”
Journal of Experimental Social Psychology
, (July 01, 2009):